Indoor Interests

Indoor Interests

Plant Perks

Indoor plants not only bring beauty to our indoor spaces but provide many additional benefits as well, such as; increasing oxygen levels, air purification, release of water vapor and some studies have shown plants will aid in patient recovery and assist with mental focus.  When we breath we take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, plants are our perfect living partners as they require carbon dioxide to complete photosynthesis and release oxygen as a byproduct.  An additional byproduct of the photosynthetic process is the production of water vapor which will increase the humidity of the air in a room helping to keep skin moisturized and relieve respiratory irritation.

In the 1980s NASA and the Associate Landscape Contractors of America conducted research into using plants for the purification of indoor air, which can be more polluted than air outside.  They found that many plants filter out commonly found volatile organic compounds (VOCs-includes formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene; all found in household products) and subsequent studies, published in the Journal of American Horticultural Science has corroborated these results.

Research at Kansas State University yielded findings that having plants in hospital rooms sped up the recovery patients following surgery. Compared to rooms without plants, patients with plants required less pain medication, had lower heart rates and blood pressure and were released sooner.  Studies commissioned by the Dutch Horticultural Board and the Agricultural University of Norway revealed that plants in office settings reduced head colds, sore throats and flu-like symptoms by approximately 60 percent.

Additionally research conducted by the Royal College of Agriculture in Circencester, England indicates that having plants in libraries, and classrooms increases attentiveness, focus and even attendance of students by up to 70 percent. Discussed below are some of the most beneficial and easiest kept indoor plants.

aloe vera

Aloe vera is an easily grown succulent that thrives in the sun. It absorbs formaldehyde and benzene as well as providing gel which soothes and heals burns and cuts.


Philodendron purifies air by removing formaldehyde but is toxic when eaten, so be careful around children and pets.


Snakeplant removes formaldehyde from indoor air and will also absorb nitrogen oxide produced by fuel burning appliances.

peace lily

The peace lily is one of the most beautiful and easily maintained indoor plants, it will thrive with weekly watering and shade. Additionally it made it to the top of NASA’s list for efficiency of VOC removal and it also will remediate mold.

English ivy removes benzene and formaldehyde from indoor air. It also has been shown to reduce air borne fecal matter.

gerbera daisy

Gerbera daisies purify the air by removing benzene and trichloroethylene. They will be a bright, colorful addition to your home as long as they are provided with lots of sunlight.


A Ficus plant will filter out formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. They can be finicky though, check with the nursery for the appropriate light and water conditions to help your Ficus thrive.